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Car Tech Countdown to 2018
2013 Distance Control
Adaptive cruise control systems use laser or radar to maintain a set distance from other vehicles on the highway.
Available today on more upscale brands:
Audi BMW Lexus Mercedes-Benz
2014 Embedded 4G Access
Expert motor trade insurance broker Quote Me Today:
"All new 'big brand' cars will incorporate internet technology by 2014."
General Motors is partnering with AT&T to offer 4G Internet access embedded in most of the vehicles it sells in the U.S. and Canada beginning in 2014.
2015 Hydrogen Power
13 Japanese corporations, including Toyota, Honda and Nissan, are reportedly investing in hydrogen-powered cars that are planned to debut in Japan in 2015.
Companies will be required to ensure that there are 100 filling stations for hydrogen in the metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka.
2016 Compressed Air Power
While compressed air-powered vehicles technically exist today, major automakers have yet to embrace this new technology. That's going to change in 2016, according to GizMag: "Peugot Citroen...addresses the limited range of compressed air energy storage technology by combining it with a gasoline powered internal combustion engine."
A hydraulic pump/motor unit stores air generated by the engine (and from braking and deceleration) in a compressed air energy storage unit.
2017 Self-Driving Car
Self-driving vehicles are right around the corner, with Ford projecting this sci-fi-esque capability to hit the road by 2017.
Lane Keep Assist keeps your car centered in the lane using a camera in the mirror.
Adaptive Cruise Control keeps pace with the car ahead, while sonar monitors blind spots and vehicles passing from behind.
2018 Internet Radio Surge
Radio knob, what's that? Kids born after 2018 may never know, as Internet radio use is expected to dominate the market by that time.
Whose services will prevail? Pandora and Spotify have our attention, but rumor has it that automakers are looking to develop their own services.